This prize celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind Europe’s ground-breaking innovations
For the 2023 – 2024 edition, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT) have teamed up to create a bigger and bolder European Prize for Women Innovators, with no fewer than 9 prizes to be awarded.
Applications are now closed. The deadline for submission was 27 September 2023 at 17:00 CET. We received a record 330 applications, across the three prize categories. The finalists will be announced at the EIT Summit in February 2024, and the 9 prize winners will be revealed at the EIC Summit in March 2024.
The European Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind Europe's most ground-breaking innovations. The prize awards women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, whose disruptive innovations are driving positive change for people and planet.
The prize is managed jointly by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency and the European Institute for Innovation & Technology. The winners are chosen by an independent expert jury.
There are three prize categories:
- The Women Innovators prize, awarded to the most talented women innovators from across the EU and Associated Countries. The winner is awarded EUR 100 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 70 000 and EUR 50 000 respectively;
- The Rising Innovators prize, awarded to promising young innovators under the age of 35. The winner is awarded EUR 50 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively;
- The EIT Women Leadership Award, awarded to exceptional women leaders from the EIT Community. The winner is awarded EUR 50 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively.
Eligible applicants can only apply to one category.
Who should apply
The prize is open to:
- Women (this prize celebrates women in all their diversity)
- Established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country
- Who have founded an innovative company registered at least 2 years before the call's year
Those applying for the Rising Innovators category must be under 35. There is no age limit to apply for the Women Innovators or EIT Women Leadership prize.
Eligible applications will be evaluated against 3 award criteria:
- Breakthrough innovation – the company or organisation founded or cofounded by the applicant is pioneering a breakthrough and disruptive innovation within the EU or countries associated to Horizon Europe.
- Impact – This innovation addresses a real need or challenge, with significant benefits for people and/or planet.
- Inspiration – the applicant is an inspiring leader, who has played a pivotal role in the success of the company or organisation. The applicant is a role model who inspires and empowers other women and girls.
How to apply
Applications are closed. The deadline was on 27 September 2023 at 17:00 CET. Please click on the links below to apply for each category on the EU Funding & Tenders portal.
Please consult the Rules of contest before submitting your application.
- June 2023Contest open
- 27 September 2023 (17:00 CET )Deadline for applications
- February 2024Announcement of finalists
- March 2024Announcement of winners
Statistics 2019 - 2023
Increase in applications from 2019 to 2023
Split per category in 2023
- News article
The Commission adopted the amendment of the EIC work programme 2023 including two Coordination and Support Actions. Both calls for proposals will open on 16 August.
- News article
EIC Board statement: recommendations for increasing participation of high potential innovators from widening countries to EIC programmes
The EIC Board has set an overall objective to increase the participation of widening countries to a share of at least 15% across all EIC instruments, double the current level of below 8%.
- News article
Following consultations with stakeholders, the Board has agreed a Code of Conduct which it has published in draft for any other parties to provide comments or feedback.